Welcome Linda Bennett Pennell who’s come to talk about her new release, Confederado do Norte, her shopaholic dog, and Maverick.
Be sure to scroll all the way down and read an excerpt from Confederado do Norte!
Linda, do you have a pet?
My husband and I share our home with a brown-headed German Short-haired Pointer who is absolutely convinced she is a little girl, one who loves to shop. When we take her to Petsmart, she goes straight to the toy aisle and tests every plush, squeeky toy until she finds just the right one. She then picks it up in her mouth and starts tugging toward the checkout counter. Her business is done. It’s time to go home so she can play with her new toy. She’s only a little spoiled! Awww, she’s a shopaholic!
Where does Confederado do Norte take place? Why did you choose that location? Have you ever been there?
Confederado do Norte is set primarily in Brazil. Thank goodness for Google Maps and Google Earth! They allowed me to see what the countryside looks like in a place I’ve never been. The story setting was determined by actual historical facts upon which my work of fiction is based. After the American Civil War, some Southerners decided they wouldn’t live with the terms of Reconstruction. When Emperior Dom Pedro II offered free land in exchange for agricultural expertise, the defeated Confederates jumped at the chance to start afresh. My novel is the story of a young girl forced to move into the Brazilian wilderness where the woman she becomes must recreate herself in order to survive.
What is your favorite childhood TV show and what do you remember fondly about it?
Oooooo, not difficult at all. As a young girl, I was in love with Brett Marverick played by James Garner. If you’ve never seen a picture of him as a young man, Google him and take a look. Be still my beating heart! I Google’d, and Yum!!!
I have been in love with the past for as long as I can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws me in. I suppose it comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on my grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around her fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course being set in the South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into my work. As for my venture in writing, it has allowed me to reinvent myself. We humans are truly multifaceted creatures, but unfortunately we tend to sort and categorize each other into neat, easily understood packages that rarely reveal the whole person. Perhaps you, too, want to step out of the box in which you find yourself. I encourage you to look at the possibilities and imagine. Be filled with childlike wonder in your mental wanderings. Envision what might be, not simply what is. Let us never forget, all good fiction begins when someone says to herself or himself, “Let’s pretend.” I reside in the Houston area with one sweet husband and one German Shorthaired Pointer who thinks she’s a little girl. Favorite quote regarding my professional passion: “History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wooden shoes coming up.” Voltaire
Al Capone at the Blanche Hotel now available from Soul Mate Publishing
Confederado do Norte from Soul Mate Publishing
Find Linda at:
Linda Bennett Pennell
Back cover blurb for Confederado do Norte
October, 1866. Mary Catherine is devastated when her family emigrates from Georgia to Brazil because her father and maternal uncle refuse to accept the terms of Reconstruction following the Confederacy’s defeat. Shortly after arrival in their new country, she is orphaned, leaving her in Uncle Nathan’s care. He hates Mary Catherine, blaming her for his sister’s death. She despises him because she believes Nathan murdered her father. When Mary Catherine discovers Nathan’s plan to be rid of her as well, she flees into the mountain wilderness filled with jaguars and equally dangerous men. Finding refuge among kind peasants, she grows into a beauty, ultimately marrying the scion of a wealthy Portuguese family. Happiness and security seem assured until civil unrest brings armed marauders who have an inexplicable connection to Mary Catherine. Recreating herself has protected Mary Catherine in the past, but this new crisis will demand all of the courage, intelligence, and creativity she possesses simply to survive.
Chapter 1 I dreamt the dream again last night. In the small hours, I awoke in a tumble of bedclothes and bathed in perspiration despite the howling snowstorm blanketing the city. I rearranged quilts and plumped pillows, but sleep remained elusive. My mind refused to be quiet. As often happens after such a night, I felt unable to rise at my usual hour and remained abed long after the maids cleared breakfast from the morning room. My daughter-in-law, bless her heart, meant well. I told her it was ridiculous to bring the doctor out on such a frigid day, but apparently the very old, like the very young, are not to be trusted in matters of judgment. After the doctor listened to my chest, a studied sympathy filled his eyes and he gently suggested that perhaps I should get my affairs in order. No doubt he wondered at my smile for he couldn’t have known I have no affairs other than my memories and the emotions they engender. Unlike most elderly persons, I don’t revel in slogging through the past. It isn’t wrapped in pretty ribbons or surrounded by a golden aura. Instead, its voices haunt my dreams, demanding and accusatory. Until recently, I’ve resisted their intrusion into my waking life, but I now believe the past can no longer remain buried in nocturnal visions. It must be brought out into the light of day. From its earliest moments onward, the past’s substance must be gouged out, pulled apart, and examined bit by bit until its truth is exposed. While total objectivity may not be possible, I have concluded that committing the past to paper is my best hope for sorting facts from imaginings. Perhaps then I will achieve the peace that has so long hidden its face from me. You see, when I was quite young—only a girl really—I killed four people. Two were dearly beloved, one was a hated enemy, and the last was a dangerous criminal. Chapter 2 My story begins at the end of a terrible war, one that destroyed many lives and much property. But for that war and a handful of newspaper editorials and advertisements, my life would have turned out quite differently. Sometimes it seems no time at all has passed since I was a nine-year-old child standing on the deck of a ship watching home disappear over the horizon. Warm Gulf breezes tugged at the brim of my bonnet, setting its ribbons dancing. Leaning over the Alyssa Jane’s railing, I stared back in the direction of Mobile Bay and pretended I could see the dock where my beloved Bess stood, probably still waving. Mama, her pretty features marred by a furrowed brow and down turned mouth, paced beside me. “Mary Catherine MacDonald! Get down before you fall overboard. All we need right now is another crisis. And stop wiping your nose on your sleeve.” Mama didn’t seem to understand anything anymore. Before we left home, she was calm and kind. Afterward, she snapped at the least little thing. Click to buy from Amazon